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Standard terms for software licenses in the pipeline.

The Federation Against Software Theft : 21 February, 2008  (Technical Article)
Having a standard kite mark set of terms and conditions for software licenses considered by the Federation Against Software Theft as a considerable step forward.
The Federation Against Software Theft (The Federation) has welcomed the publication of the National Consumer Council's report 'Whose licence is it anyway?'

The Federation has been actively considering the possibility of introducing a common set of licence conditions - or a 'kite mark' - that software companies could sign up to for some time.

John Lovelock, Chief Executive of the Federation Against Software Theft, said, "Terms and conditions are often perceived as baffling by consumers - in fact research by The Federation indicates that less than a third of users (28 per cent) always read the terms and conditions when installing software, whereas up to 72 per cent of people tick the 'I agree' box without taking any notice of exactly what they are agreeing to."

The Federation's objective is to tackle what has, in recent years, become a thorn in the side of both the software vendor community and end users alike.

This follows a proposal put forward by Federation members that would see the creation of a common set of conditions providing purchasers with a consistent and transparent agreement. These would cover all the major areas that are common to different products, allowing the vendor to print any exceptions to the terms on the packaging.

"The NCC is right to highlight an area that may be of concern to some consumers," said John Lovelock, "however we must not overlook the rights of the software companies.

"We recognise that the industry must be proactive in helping end-users to comply with copyright laws. By combining the strengths of our software publishers and certified resellers we will be able to tackle the issue head on and ensure that the core criteria are established for any software licence.

"Software users will then have a simple and straightforward set of guidelines setting out exactly what their rights are."
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